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Poster: Skobud Date: Nov 3, 2011 9:15am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Living in the Material World - George Harrison Documentary

I watched Scorsese’s documentary “Living in the Material World” while I was home sick on Tuesday. Its Scorsese’s take on Georges life basically beginning to end. It’s two parts and 3 ½ hours long, and it aired on HBO at the beginning of October. Ive always been a Beatles nut, and Ive read a fair amount on the band and each of them personally. I had never read George’s autobiography and that is why I went into this with such high hopes. This film was done with George’s widows ‘blessing and many of the pictures and clips were stuff I had not seen anywhere else except for certain parts I had seen in watching the 11 DVD Anthology set. There are some really incredible interviews with too many people to list, which adds some real merit to this piece of work.

The first part pretty much focuses on the Early Hamburg days and has Interviews with both Astrid and Klauss, and had some very cool stories about their personal take on George, and the fact that he was only 17 years old during that time. I thought that was such a trip, I mean how cool would it be to be in Hamburg in the early 60’s playing in a rock band every night. The thing about the first part however, is that there was not that much new stuff there. The Beatles have to be the most picked apart band other than The Dead, and I think that is why it would be kinda hard to to this type of film about any one person. The story basically revolves in the beginning about how George was the quiet Beatle, and how he evolved over time. They spent a good chunk of time discussing the trip to India and his friendship with Ravi Shankar. Again, nothing too groundbreaking but cool to watch the story told.

The second part of the film talks more about George’s personal spritiual journey through life. There was a good part devoted to All Things Must Pass which I truly enjoyed. It was kinda funny to see yet another interview with Phil Spector looking these days just like an old drag queen. Wonderful stuff as I have never read anything about the making of this album and what went into it. By this time as well, George was knee deep in transcendental meditation which had become a huge part of his life. He seemed to focus more on his own spirituality and family and friends, rather than the outside world. This is where I started to become really more enamored with his story and him personally. He seemed to become, as many people do, much cooler with age. He was on a real journey and lived his life as such. Im not ignorant to the fact that he had a notorious temper and liked to screw around and party, but that I write off to the other half of his personality – the rock star. He had enormous pressures all the time to do all kinds of things and tried to dispel the myth of who people thought he was. The film also takes a relatively long look at The Concert for Bangladesh, which I had no idea it was the first of its kind. Ravi Shankar had basically asked him for help in assisting the multitudes in Bangladesh that were desolate due to the Bhola cyclone and the Bangladesh Liberation War. George put the concert together in literally a few weeks with some of the biggest names in the business. Pretty groundbreaking and to think no one had attempted anything like it yet. I love that. People were all over him about this in press conferences and asking why a benefit for that place when there are so many horrible things going on in the world. His answer was incredibly simple, it was something to the effect of “It’s a favor for a friend’. Awesome. There was also a absolutely chilling account of his estate getting broken into and him getting stabbed. Some crazy asshole literally threw a statue through their front window and came right into their home with the intentions of killing George in 1999. The security camera footage and his widow’s account of it still kinda freaks me out to think about. That happened only two years before his death.

In the end I really enjoyed this documentary although it leaves out some huge portions of his life. The one thing I wanted to hear about was the lawsuit over My Sweet love. That was groundbreaking as well because of the “Subconscious plagiarism’ ruling, and I think it was probably a big part of his life due to the fact that it went on for years. I have to say one more thing, this was not a super rosy portrait of George. It kinda came off as if he was somewhat unsatisfied with life or something. The musician, the spiritual believer and the journey of life. Very heavy and really enjoyable. I could understand people being a little bored I guess as it does get a little long winded and dry at times, but any serious fan needs to see this. I came away with knowledge and the overall feeling that life really is a journey. George Harrison’s life is a perfect shining example of that. The good and the bad, it all matters and it truly is what makes the man. I recommend this documentary and think most of you would most likely dig it.

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Poster: Dudley Dead Date: Nov 3, 2011 1:58pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Living in the Material World - George Harrison Documentary

Thanks, I will see somehow ( no HBO ). I am definitely a "George guy", not the ( at their best) flawless creators that John, & Paul were , but a more human, personal figure . Excess and all, I prefer "All Things" to even "Imagine" , in the post-Beatle era . He had a big influence on my own spiritual journey, and I owe him a great deal .
His sense of humor, ( his support of Monty Python, I would assume was mentioned ), sometime sharp and dark was always welcome .
I mean here he is, fighting cancer,that would eventually get him, and this idiot tries to kill him . His comment " Why doesn't this kind of thing happen to the Rolling Stones? ...

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Poster: Skobud Date: Nov 3, 2011 4:47pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Living in the Material World - George Harrison Documentary

Oh yea man - The Monty Python angle...The guy financed Life of Brian by mortgaging his house. How goddam cool is that.

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Poster: rdenirojb87 Date: Nov 3, 2011 9:56am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Living in the Material World - George Harrison Documentary

nice review sko. i saw the majority of the documentary, and enjoyed it very much. much more so than most other documentaries i've seen on the band. this one is well worth the time investment. well done once again mr. scorsese. the magic lies deep within the brush of those eyebrows.

This post was modified by rdenirojb87 on 2011-11-03 16:56:55

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Poster: ice9freak Date: Nov 3, 2011 2:35pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Living in the Material World - George Harrison Documentary

Nice review--very excited to see this one day. "All Things Must Pass" is indeed the best solo Beatles record, if you ask me.

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Poster: Diamondhead Date: Nov 3, 2011 3:41pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Living in the Material World - George Harrison Documentary

I'm late to the party, but great review. It's a wonderful doc. He comes out as a good human being. What more can you ask?